Spicy Black Bean and Rice Soup

black_bean_soup

Fact: it is snowing outside. In April. Seriously?! Seriously.

Minnesota, listen up. In the summer you are my favorite place to be. Running around the lakes, swimming, cruising with the windows down, hanging out on patios, enjoying a few beers by a bonfire. In the first signs of spring (which we were experiencing during my last post!), I easily forget the horribly long cold months you put us through. And in the fall, I’m ready for a change. For the excuse to wear cute boots, scarves, and hats. Not to mention it’s soccer and football season. :)

And snow and -40 degrees in winter? That’s one thing. Snow and 30 degrees in April? That’s a whole ‘nother.

There is only one good thing about snow in April (yes, I’m trying to look on the bright side here!). Soup. Delicious, warm, comforting soup.

snow

Not cool, MN. Not cool.

Alright, moving on.

The other day for lunch I picked up some gumbo from a local coffee shop. Sausage, chicken, beans, rice. Yum! So sooo good. I just looove the combo of beans and rice. Some days, I could just eat beans and rice for dinner. And especially if we are at a Mexican restaurant!

Tonight on my drive home from work, I decided I would make my own bean and rice soup. I’m a big fan of black bean soup (Panera’s especially!), but had never tried adding rice. It adds a bit more texture, which I like. I also made this batch a bit spicy! Spicy, hearty, delicious soup. Mmm mmm good. Perfect for a cold winter (err…I mean spring!) night.

Spicy Black Bean and Rice Soup

Ingredients:

2 15 oz. cans black beans (or 1 large can), drained

3 cups vegetable broth

1 jalapeño, minced (seeded or unseeded – I kept seeds in!)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, diced

2 TBSP olive oil

1/2 TBSP cumin (or more, to taste)

1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, depending on spice preference)

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 TBSP tomato paste

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup cooked brown rice (or other favorite!)

juice of 1/2 lime

cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped + more for serving

sour cream, for serving (optional)

avocado, for serving (optional)

lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Directions

1) Saute onion, jalapeño, and garlic over medium heat until fragrant. Approx. 1 minute.

2) Add in cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3) Add in beans, broth, and Worcestershire. Stir to combine.

4) Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

5) As soup is simmering, cook rice according to directions.

6) After approximately 30 minutes of simmering, use an immersion blender or blender (I used my magic bullet!) to blend part of soup until smooth. This will give soup a nice thick texture.

7) Continue to simmer soup until rice is finished cooking. Once rice is done, squeeze lime over and add in 1/4 cup cilantro.

8) Add rice into soup, stirring to combine.

9) Top with cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and lime wedges if desired!

Note: If liquid reduces more than you would prefer, feel free to add a little water to the pot. Then, taste and adjust seasonings as needed!

black_bean_soup

What’s your favorite cold-weather comfort food?

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

And next time we meet, let’s hope this cold weather is gone for good! :)

Black Bean and Rice Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
A deliciously hearty black bean and rice soup!
Ingredients
  • 2 15 oz. cans black beans (or 1 large can), drained
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (seeded or unseeded - I kept seeds in!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ TBSP cumin (or more, to taste)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • juice of ½ lime
  • cilantro, ¼ cup chopped + more for serving
  • sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • avocado, for serving (optional)
  • lime wedges, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Saute onion, jalapeño, and garlic over medium heat - 1 minute.
  2. Add in cayenne, cumin, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add in beans, broth, and Worcestershire. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. As soup is simmering, cook rice according to directions.
  6. After approximately 30 minutes of simmering, use an immersion blender or blender (I used my magic bullet!) to blend part of soup until smooth. This will give soup a nice thick texture.
  7. Continue to simmer soup until rice is finished cooking.
  8. Add rice into soup, stirring to combine.
  9. Top with cilantro, sour cream, and avocado if desired!
Notes
If soup reduces a bit much for your liking, feel free to add a bit of water to the pot!

Real Recipe: Sautéed Kale with White Beans

Sautéed Kale with White Beans

First day of my “detox” week. What does that mean exactly? Well, for approximately one week I am going to attempt to eat a diet free from animal products (dairy, eggs, meat), wheat, and added sugar. An no processed food (or very minimal!).

Last night, being I knew this, we had pasta with meatballs for dinner, and went out to Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream. Splurge! It was delicious :) (And yes, I’m already planning what I’m eating when this week is over…frozen deep dish pizza from Chicago – ha!).

Here’s how the first day went:

Breakfast – green “juice” and a banana

Snack: trail mix (nuts and raisins only)

Lunch: quinoa with avocado, black beans, and baby tomatoes

Snack: peach and baby carrots

Dinner: sautéed kale with white beans over jasmine rice

The green juice is really just this green powder mixed in water. It’s all-natural, full of nutrients from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It also has probiotics, digestive enzymes, fiber, and antioxidants. You know, basically everything your body needs but you’re probably not always giving it. I bought it at Whole Foods, and it’s also made by a local company, which makes me feel even better about buying the product. I’m still in the early few days of trying the product, so I’ll report more back once I test it out for longer! Here’s the website if you’d like to see for yourself: http://www.mygreenenergysite.net

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the “detox”. Most of the day I felt pretty great. A bit hungrier than usual, but nothing I can’t handle. Besides, I’ve decided a little hunger can be good if you know it’s a temporary state. I’m no longer in the place of my life where I am purposely eating less because I am struggling with an eating disorder. I’m ok being a tiny bit hungry and know I’m not going to binge on whatever item I am restricting myself from consuming. I’m just here for a week. And you truly are more grateful for all the food you eat when you eat. Period.

So before I made dinner tonight I picked up the bf some chicken noodle soup from Panera (he is fighting off a bad cold!). It was hard to resist ripping off a piece of that delicious sourdough baguette and dipping into the soup. However, I restrained myself :)

I for dinner made sautéed kale and white beans over jasmine rice. It actually turned out better than I thought it would! I wasn’t sure how the first vegan/wheat-free dinner would go, but it was a nice light, refreshing, and good textured dish. I wanted to make kale and white bean soup, but didn’t have all the ingredients. This turned out to be a good alternative!

I’m also going to attempt to make chickpea curry (the bf hates curry, but being he’s gone most nights this week, I’m taking full advantage!) and veggie burgers this week. Until then, here’s the recipe for the kale and beans. It’s adapted from one of Emeril’s recipes, so you know it’s good :)

Sautéed Kale and White Beans

Ingredients:

2 TBSP olive oil

1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped crosswise into 1 inch strips

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 small red onion, sliced thinly

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 can white northern or cannelloni beans, drained

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in large saucepan.

Add garlic, bay leaf, and red pepper. Saute for about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant.

Add in kale and red onion. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over and mix to combine.

Fold in beans, continuing to stir.

Put lid on and sauté on low until kale is wilted and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Serve alone or on top of favorite rice (I used Jasmine)

Enjoy!

photo-11

Recipe adapted from http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/emerils-sauteed-tuscan-kale-recipe.htm 

See you tomorrow for day 2 of detox week! :)

Sautéed Kale with White Beans
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
A healthy, light dish that can be served as a side or over rice for a main course.
Ingredients
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, trimmed and chopped crosswise into 1 inch strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 can white northern or cannelloni beans, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan.
  2. Add garlic, bay leaf, and red pepper. Saute for about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add in kale and red onion. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over and mix to combine.
  4. Fold in beans, continuing to stir.
  5. Put lid on and sauté on low until kale is wilted and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve alone or on top of favorite rice.